Saturday, August 7, 2010

the cotton wedding dress...and first look... feeling incredibly comfy in my dress, while others play ladder ball in the background...

As soon as I got engaged I started looking at wedding first stop of course was David's Bridal for my budget friendly wedding. Well, I HATED the process. The dresses looked awful on me...and very few actually come long enough for my height (I'm 5'11) I would have to struggle with that if I actually liked one. Next I went to a bridal gown boutique, the price tags were ridiculous and I just couldn't picture myself eating ribs and playing croquet in these huge dresses. So I wasn't sure what to do next. I just really wanted to wear a long cotton white dress. I had endless searches for cotton dresses, and found nothing feasible.

During this process I had been delegating out tasks of the wedding to my family members who wanted to help. My mom- the flowers, Matt- the music, dads- BBQ-ing.... then I asked Matt's mom if she would like to help me make the wedding cupcakes.... she said no way, that sounds awful... I'd rather make your wedding dress. WHAT?! Seriously. She offered to make my wedding dress? The cake was a challenge but sewing a huge white dress was do-able?! I was elated. **side note... Matt's mom is a phenomenal quilter with impeccable attention to details, she is a perfectionist with I knew her wedding dress creation would be perfect** adorable are those little flowers on the dress?! Great choice, Janice...

It was funny that when I would tell people about my wedding dress that my mother-in-law would be sewing, they'd always cringe...."ooo...are you sure you're going to like it? What if you don't? Do you have a back-up? Aren't you nervous?" And surprisingly I wasn't, I felt more at ease knowing I'd be wearing a comfy dress and that I'd look like myself in then trying to fool all of my friends and family that I was someone else. Janice even gave me multiple opportunities to chuck the dress and buy a new one if I wasn't happy...that she promised her feelings wouldn't be hurt. Ridiculous. I couldn't even express how special I felt that she would put so much time into my wedding dress... it was soo touching.

...janice spending hours on the dress altering and hemming...

...dress alteration with the boots...

So she offered to take me to a fabric store, to choose the pattern, and choose the fabric of my dreams. I had dreamed up swiss-dot fabric to add a little bit of texture to the dress but then enough layers for me to be comfortable wearing white on a sunny day. I also wanted something simple. Janice, Matt's mom, made a mock-up dress in yellow... its adorable. Then from there we made a few tweaks...and voila. I had asked for a fabric flower out of swiss-dot for my messy side ponytail (which obviously I changed my mind on) but she then made a few extra fabric flowers and pinned them to my dress just to add some girly-ness... absolutely perfect!! As soon as I put it on I felt like those brides in movies where they put on the dress thats "the one" and they just know.... this was the one. I loved wearing my cotton hand-made dress. Totally DIY... as it turned out and I felt soo beautiful. I felt like me on my wedding day.

Janice came up from Colorado to do a dress fitting, a month before the wedding but I really didn't want Matt to see the final wedding dress until the day of the wedding. It was a silly little thing, but I really wanted him to be amazed on the day of the wedding... that gosh, this is really happening...and even with all of our prepping we still couldn't picture how great that day would be. So, we managed to pull it off... Matt hadn't seen the dress or the pictures circulating to my family and friends...and about 30 minutes before the wedding ceremony Matt and I had our "first look." That moment was great. It was right above the ceremony as guests were going to sit at the hay bales... our dogs had joined us by chance on the bridge. It was a nice little time for us to connect with each other before Matt went down to the corral. We centered ourselves. Just to stop and try to take it all in. This was really happening... how sensational.'ll notice the bruise on my elbow... yeah, rafting the day before the wedding...that'll do it apparently... fixing matt's shirt, 3/4 sleeves is a tricky one for guys...
[pictures by rob hart]


  1. love your idea! im thinking about doing the same thing now. ive been searching for simple white cotton dresses for hours! btw im Lindsey, and my fiance is Matt! too weird.

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  5. this dress is absolutely beautiful! could you tell me what type of cotton it is?